Here is the definitive word on the VHS schools.
If you want to sign up for German classes, you go to the Gasteig
on Friday, Feb 10. They hand out numbers starting at 7 am. You enroll as your number is called. If you do not get there early enough to get a number, you have to wait until 1pm to enroll. However, going on Friday is much better than waiting until Saturday. Only the students signing up for German get to do so on Friday.
Secondly, you must now pass an exam to be able to signup for the Mittelstufe 1. I just completed the last Grundstufe course (GS4) and I had to take an exam that is part of the course. With the results of this test, she recommended that we either go to Mittelstufe or take the Grunstufe Abschluss - which is a review of all the Grundstufe stuff. Grundstufe is where you learn the grammar rules. It does not mean that you can speak the language. The test consisted of 1 part grammar and one part of writing. I had one person in my class who passed the exam and is going onto Mittelstufe but he literally cannot speak German. I, on the other hand, failed the test but I speak passable German.
There is also the ZD, Zertificate Deutsch, exam that you can take. It costs about 100€ to take and many students need this to 1)get a job or 2) to study in Germany. It is more difficult to pass than the other exam.
As for teachers, the one I just had is now going back to teaching Grundstufe 1 and she is really, really good. Her name is Brigitte Valenti (she is German, but married an Italian, so don't be fooled by the name). Get her if you can get her. She teaches in Schwabing
, I think.